This post was written by Bronwyn Bragg, a member of the Women’s Centre Social Policy Committee
The Social Policy Committee (SPC) is a volunteer committee made up of women in the community with a passion for approaching policy issues from a feminist or gender perspective. The Social Policy Committee works with the Work for Change team at the Women’s Centre to advance policies that we believe will improve the lives of women in Calgary.
One policy issue that the SPC has consistently worked on is poverty. The Women’s Centre sees the way poverty disproportionately impacts women in our community. Women earn less than men and are often in jobs that are less secure. They do the bulk of unpaid work. Poverty also intersects with violence, racism and colonialism, and immigration status to make some women more vulnerable.
The SPC has helped research and write position statements on policy issues related to women and poverty, including on the need for more affordable, quality child care, and on a principles-based basic income guarantee.
The Social Policy Committee is currently seeking new members. We are seeking members who have a public policy background or experience. Members of the SPC should be able to contribute a strong, intersectional feminist perspective. Much of the work involves reading and writing in different areas of social policy, and the ability to articulate policy positions that reflect the concerns of the Women’s Centre community in writing and in meetings with officials and the public is central to the committee’s work.
I was inspired to join the social policy committee because of the way it addresses the social problems that face women, such as poverty, the lack of accessible childcare, and the specific vulnerabilities facing Indigenous and immigrant women in Calgary. The Social Policy Committee tackles important social issues by taking a look at the root cause. We look at the way policy can be reformed to improve the lives of women in our community. When we take a structural or policy approach, it allows us to work toward sustainable social change, instead of putting a bandaid on the problem.
One example of this is the Social Policy Committee’s new work on immigration policy, as well as developing policy on the changing nature of the economy and how these changes are impacting women. Committee members are also joining Women’s Centre staff in their meetings with City Councillors to discuss bringing a gender lens to City policies.
The Social Policy Committee is a place where a diverse group of women volunteer their time and experience to ensure a gender lens is added to policies that impact us all.
If you are interested in joining the Social Policy Committee, please find further details about the recruitment process here.